EPISODES OF THE STRANGE

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Episode IV

The Elevator

The dreaded elevator…most people’s fear. The fear of falling to a horrible death from heights unknown, at least that is what Ella Grey a sweet eighty-seven-year-old lady thought of when looking up towards the top of the apartment building where her grandkids live. While gripping her walking cane in one hand and her big purse in the other, “Well, it is now or never,” she said to herself as she started walking toward the man who was well dressed and wore a colorful hat. He was indeed the doorman but to Ella, she thought of him as a very tall well-trained monkey.

“Good morning, ma’am,” The doorman said as he opened the door.

“Why thank you,” Ella replied with a smile as she entered the lobby of the huge apartment building.

“Your most welcome ma’am,” The doorman said with a smile. Ella turned slowly to face him as if he really needed to know why she was there.

“I’m going to visit my grandkids. They live upon the fifteenth floor. I’m not too sure about the elevator, of course, I’m afraid of heights,” Ella said.

“Well ma’am, I assure you that you will be safe,” The doorman replied.

“What is your name young man?” Ella asked.

“It is Henry ma’am,” Henry said with a smile.

“Well, that’s nice dear and you have a nice day,” Ella said as she slowly turned and carefully walked across the lobby toward the elevators as the hustle and bustle of the lobby calmed down.

As Ella waits for the elevator, in through the door comes a young boy strutting through the lobby, bumping past people and being rude.

“Get out of my way man,” The young man said hatefully as he pushed through some people who were talking. Ella watched the young boy walk closer bobbing his head from side to side like he was some big shot around there or something. His hat was black with gold trim and he was wearing two wide leather bracelets that had silver pointy studs on them. Ripped up jeans, and a skull earring in one ear along with many other piercings that Ella did not know even existed.

“He looks like a walking bobblehead,” Ella said to herself as she looked at the arrow above the elevator door, counting down to the main floor.

“Hey grandma, what are you looking at?” The young boy said as he stood beside Ella.

“I’m sorry are you talking to me?” She replied.

“Uh yeah, you are the only grandma that I see, and you were looking at me,” He said while turning his body sideways to look at Ella. “So, what is ya looking at?”

“Well apparently a walking pin cushion with a smart mouth,” Ella said as she glanced at him, then looked straight at the elevator.

“Ahhh, a pincushion. Wow, I will give that to ya grandma, BRAVO!” The young man said as he clapped his hands together while looking annoyed. “DING-DING,” went the elevator bell as the doors opened. Ella and the young man entered the elevator one at a time, and each one stood across from each other as the doors closed.

“Pick a floor grandma,” The young man said rather rudely and hateful. Ella just glanced at him for a few moments then looked away. She watched the numbers start to climb as the elevator moved.

Once the doors closed, Ella grabbed onto the railing that ran along the wall on her side. The young boy stood on the other side staring at her. The elevator slowly climbed; 2...3...4...and so on. Ella glanced over and saw a patch on his chest that read “SKULL BOY.” All was quiet for the time being. Both Ella and the young boy stood facing the doors watching the numbers slowly climb up, higher and higher.

“SKULL BOY, is that your name?” Ella asked.

“Yeah it is, what of it?” He said to Ella with a look of irritation because she even asked.

“Oh nothing, just wondering,” Ella said.

“What is your name, grandma or wrinkled old raisin,” Skull Boy said with a slight grin and chuckle.

“My name is Ella, Ella Grey,” Ella said while still hanging onto the railing that went around the walls. “BUMP,” the elevator went, and Ella gasped.

“Hahaha, you’re afraid of an old elevator,” Skull Boy said while laughing and slapping his thigh. Ella said nothing as fear swam throughout her body. There was another jerk and then a hard bump, Ella screamed out and Skull Boy grabbed onto the wall.

“What the hell?” He said with a fearful tone and probably the first time in front of someone else too.

“Oh my, I did fear this would happen. Oh my, the elevator has stopped. How are we going to get out of here?” Ella yelled nervously.

“Oh man, shut up grandma, you are making me nervous and I do not know how we’re getting out of here,” Skull Boy said. “Just shut up and let me think. I do not need an old grandma dying on me in here, damn.”

“Do not cuss at me boy,” Ella said in a firm tone while raising up her cane as if to strike him without a minute’s notice.

“Geez, chill out grandma,” Skull Boy said as he backed up with both hands raised as if he is anticipating the pain of the cane. “Where is the phone? Every elevator has a phone for emergencies.”

Skull Boy sat down on the floor of the elevator, leaned up against the wall and looked at his watch.

“Dang man, I just bought this watch,” He said as he tapped on the plastic that covered the stopped hands of time of the black watch.

“What is wrong?” Ella said while standing up against the wall and looking uncomfortable.

“My watch, it was working just fine this morning and now it has stopped. Piece of crap should have known not to buy this at the dollar store.” Skull Boy said. “What about you grandma, you have a watch?”

“Indeed, I do,” Ella said as she too looked at her watch. “Well ain’t that a hoot, mine is stopped at 10:00 am. It was working fine this morning too.” They both got quiet for a few minutes, as they were trying to figure out why the watches were stopped. Skull Boy had pulled out his cell phone from his side pants pocket and it had the time of 10:00 am.

“Now that is some strange sh~…, the time on my phone is showing 10:00 am. Something strange is going on here grandma,” Skull Boy said sounding confused.

Skull Boy leaned his head back against the wall and closed his eyes. He opened them again when he heard Ella sigh.

“What’s wrong grandma?” He asked. “Are you dying or something over there?”

“No, I am not dying. My feet are swelling, and I need to sit down,” Ella replied as she shifted back and forth on her feet. Skull Boy sighed as the lights flickered in the elevator and went out then came back on. He then noticed in one corner a small chair.

“What the…that was not in here before,” He said as he glanced at Ella and then back to the chair. The sight of Ella made him think of his own grandma.

“Hey grandma, you in luck,” He said as he got up to his feet. “Here is a chair.”

“What? Where did that come from?” Ella said, as she too saw the small chair sitting in the corner. How odd that was to see that, just came out of nowhere.

“Well, sit your raisin butt down before you fall down,” Skull Boy said to Ella as he walked closer to her. She was not too sure about it.

“Uh…, well,” Ella said. Skull Boy went over and slapped the chair with his hands as confirmation that it was real and she wasn’t imagining things at her old age.

“See, it is just a chair,” He said as he stuck his hand out to help Ella to the chair. She sat down and sighed with relief.

“Thank you,” She said with a smile.

“Yeah, yeah well do not get all mushy grandma. I do not need this getting around. I have a reputation you know,” Skull Boy said as he strutted backward a few steps.

“Do not worry, I will not tell anybody of your hidden kindness,” Ella said. “Are you not nice to anybody?”

“Nope, I’m not and I have no reason to be,” Skull Boy said in a defensive tone while not looking directly at Ella.

“Hmm, well maybe you should try it sometime. You can be kind if you want to. You would not talk to your grandmother that way I’m sure,” Ella said in a soft tone.

“Do not tell me how I should talk or be towards anybody,” Skull Boy replied in a hateful tone. Just then the elevator shook and bounced. Ella gasped, and Skull Boy fell against the wall. Ella started to tear up as she grabbed the railing on the wall.

“Whoa, hey man!” Skull Boy said loudly as he threw his arms out to each side.

“Oh my, I want to get out of here,” Ella cried. There was then a static noise that Skull Boy heard, no speakers could be seen, so where was this noise coming from.

“What was that?” Skull Boy asked while looking around for the source of the noise.

“Hello, please stay calm we are working, (on your fears) to get you up and running very soon,” A voice said with a seemingly chipper tone.

“HEY! HELLO!” Skull Boy yelled. “Get us out of here!”

“When fear is faced, you will get out.” A voice said through the static-filled speaker. “Please stay calm.”

“Did you hear that?” Skull Boy said.

“Hear what dear?” Ella said. “I just want to get out of here.”

“You didn’t hear that voice coming through the speaker?” Skull Boy said as he backed up toward the wall. “Never mind, must be from being in here too long.”

“Hello, please stay calm,” A voice continued to repeat then silence.

What felt like another hour or two there was nothing but silence, then Ella let out a sigh.

“Well, wonder if we are ever going to get out of here?” Ella said.

“I do not know grandma,” Skull Boy said. “You remind me of my grandma. She is sweet and kind-hearted like you.”

“Really?” Ella said. “Where is she?”

“She is up on the fifteenth floor, in 1509. I haven’t seen her in a while,” Skull Boy said.

“Well, why don’t you go and see her? I’m sure that she misses you very much,” Ella said as she pulled out some photographs of her grandkids.

“We had a falling out a few years ago,” Skull Boy said while sitting on the floor leaned up against the wall. “I do miss my grandma very much actually. Last time I heard she was sick.”

“What is your real name?” Ella asked with a slight soft smile.

“It is Skull Boy. What is your name grandma?” He said.

“I’m going to call your Rocky,” Ella said as she smiled even more. “I used to have an old tomcat named Rocky. He was tough as nails but kind when he wanted to be. That is, you.”

“Rocky huh, HA, HA, HA, ok whatever grandma,” Skull Boy said. For the first time in a long time, he did not mind being around someone who was elderly. Ella had a sense about her that could bring warmness to any cold heart.

The lights began to flicker again, then went out. Skull Boy and Ella were both in the dark. When the lights came back on Ella noticed a silver box on the wall.

“Look Rocky…over there,” Ella said as she pointed toward the box. Skull Boy got up and opened the little door. There was a small red shiny phone just hanging in the box with a phone number beside it, and a note that read, “In case of an emergency, dial 55.”

“Hey, a phone!” Skull Boy said while picking up the receiver.

“Hello?” A lady on the other end said.

“Uh…yeah, man me and old grandma,” Skull Boy said then looked back at Ella. “I mean me, and Ms. Ella has been trapped in here for a long time. Get us out of here.”

“Yes, sir. We are just now finding out about your situation. We understand your concern and will have you both out safely as soon as possible,” The lady said.

“Fine, fine, just hurry up,” Skull Boy said as he hung up the phone.

“What did they say, Rocky?” Ella asked.

“They said they are going to have us out of here very soon,” Skull Boy said with a small smile. “Thank you, Ms. Ella, for everything.”

“Well, thank you, Rocky, for being in here with me. I do not know what I would have done if I were in here alone,” Ella said with a smile.

It was not long after that, the elevator doors opened and lights from the hallway shined in on Skull Boy and Ella. They were helped from the elevator and they told the managers what had happened. As Skull boy looked down at his watch, the time was currently 10:10 am.

“Hey, my watch is working.” He said. Ella looked at her watch as well.

“Well how about that, mine is too,” She said as she looked up and smiled.

Strange thing is that even though it felt like many hours of being trapped in the elevator, it was only about ten minutes. Skull Boy turned to Ella and gave her a big hug before going on his way. Ella stopped at the apartment where her grandkids live and saw Skull Boy standing at apartment 1509. She watches as she overheard a joyous greeting and it made her smile and feel all warm inside. “That is where he is supposed to be,” She said softly.

“Hey grandma, I have missed you so much,” Skull Boy said with a soft tone and a big smile. “I know now, that I can’t live without you in my life. Can you forgive me for the way that I have treated you?”

“Oh my, come here baby boy and give your grandma a hug. How and where have you been?” An older lady’s voice said as Skull Boy a.k.a. Rocky, walked in and shut the door.

As the door opened, “Grandma! Grandma!” could be heard by little children. As she started to walk in, she saw her son, Kyle.

“There you are, mom. We just heard you were trapped in the elevator. Are you ok?” He said as he gave her a hug.

“Yes dear,” Ella replied.

“Who was that you were talking to out in the hallway?” Her son asked while slowly closing the door in behind them.

“Oh, a person that needed me at the time, as much as I needed them,” Ella said feeling thankful and less scared of an elevator.

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